Get a grip! Tackling pencil grip right from the start

Childs hand clutching coloured pencils
Primary school 4-8 years

In primary school, your child will need to master their pencil grip so they are able to write quickly and without getting a sore hand.

Here are some clever ways to develop their fine motor skills and teach them how to hold a pencil correctly:

Fine motor skills

Fine motor skills involve the small muscles in our hand, which are the muscles required to hold a pencil. You can help your child strengthen these muscles by doing exercises like:

  • squeezing a small ball, like a tennis ball
  • squirting with a water spray
  • stringing beads onto a piece of string.

Pencil grip

If your child continually holds a pencil incorrectly, here are some ways you can help them:

  • Put a cotton wool ball in their hand and encourage them to hold it with their pinkie and ring fingers. This will free up the other fingers and thumb to hold the pencil correctly.
  • Put two holes in the end of an old sock and encourage your child to slip their hand in it and poke their index and thumb through the holes. Then pick up a pencil and write.
  • Wind a rubber band around a pencil in a figure eight fashion. Slip your child’s wrist into the bottom circle formed by the eight. This will give them more control of the pencil.

Last modified on Monday 20 February 2017 [49|735]

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